17 Mar United Families Report Success at CSW 2009!!!
March 17, 2009
United Families Report Success at CSW 2009!!!
We were successful!!! Two weeks of concentrated negotiating, cajoling, writing, lobbying, and supporting have come to an end. At the conclusion of the 53rd Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), many in the pro-family coalition had slept less than four hours during the final 48 hours. But, it was worth it! We were able to remove the six references to “reproductive health services” (abortion) and insert six references to “family”!! This was a significant success! At one point there were no references to the family at all!
The final three days were blurred into one long day as the delegates worked until 2 a.m. on Wednesday and until 7:30 a.m. on Thursday. The delegates, and those of us who had stayed up all night with them, had only two hours to prepare for the final round of negotiations on Friday. Negotiations became so intense on Thursday night that delegates from pro-family nations would need to leave the room to get rejuvenated by the support and nourishment brought by our small coalition of pro-family organizations. The large International Planned Parenthood Federation had employed a large, imposing man to represent them. Several times United Families International representatives had to block the door to the negotiating room so he would not enter to influence the proceedings.
It was amazing to watch the intimidation tactics that were used in an attempt to force small countries, who want to protect families and the unborn child, to change their votes. It was apparent that the European Union and the United States were attempting to use various persuasive means to convince smaller, pro-family countries to join them in supporting abortion language. One delegate from a small country told us that he finally yelled at the other delegates, “I cannot join you! It would go against the instructions from my capital! It would go against ideals of the people in my country! And, it would go against my own personal beliefs! I will not change my vote!” This brave delegate continued to stand strong despite the agonizing, tortuous attacks he was getting. At times, he came out of the room to talk to us and to vent his feelings before going back in to face the opposition again.
During the two weeks of CSW, we saw many delegates abandon the principles of their country and their citizens. We saw delegates fawning over the EU and the US in an attempt to gain favor and money from them by supporting their ideas. We also saw delegates who came from small countries stand up against the tidal wave of pressure that was exerted against them.
The Commission on the Status of Women lasts for two weeks. It is hard to believe that in two weeks so much can happen that affects families. There were many tears shed at the conclusion. It is wonderful to know that because a small group of pro-family organizations teamed up with a small group of pro-family delegates, the family was protected one more time.
Now it is time for you to do as did these brave delegates. Now is the time for families to stand strong just as the delegates did this week. Now is the time for you to commit to the importance of families. Please show your commitment and support for what was accomplished by making a donation of $25, $35, $50, $100 or $200. We will continue to fight for your family with your help. Show us that the work we are doing is important to you.
Thank you for your support. It was for your family that we worked so hard and slept so little.
United Families International
CSW 53 Pro- Family Delegates Stand Up for the Family
Heroes come from all walks of life; from the young child who is quick witted enough to dial 911 when his mom is choking to those in combat who die everyday for our freedom and liberty. Rarely does one find heroes in the political arena. Even if an act of courage exists, it is usually hidden from the average person. Last Friday, a balcony full of men and women witnessed true valor from one lone delegate as he fought for principle and honor during the last battle in the last hour of the 53rd session of the Commission on the Status of Women in Conference room 2 in the New York United Nations building.
Our new-found friend and family ally was literally surrounded by hordes of delegates and committee leaders who fully expected him to break under the weight of their intimidation and deceit. Days of negotiations into the wee hours of the morning and into the last day of conference were proof that “abortion services” language was not acceptable to a few delegates and so no consensus existed by the deadline of 6 pm on Friday the 13th.
The Chairman of the CSW Bureau, the administrative body of the Commission, announced that Vice Chairman, Mr. Ara Margarian from Armenia, who had chaired the week of informal meetings, came up with 40 paragraphs of consensus language on his own. These forty paragraphs were areas where consensus among the delegates could not be found. (The Agreed Outcome Document started as 5 pages, morphed into 25 pages because of the “new” language proposed by delegates, and ended at a manageable 10 pages – thanks to Mr. Margarian.)
The final document was then dispersed as delegates were told they use.JPGhad 2 minutes to read the language and either agree or dissent. The UN process is generally governed by consensus instead of majority rules. This means that one dissenter can stop an entire process if he or she is adamant enough.
In this case, the document that was sent around to the delegates had “technical” errors that involved policy distinctions different then what was proposed earlier in the day. The outspoken delegate from a small middle-eastern nation refused to agree to the “package deal”. He was quoted as saying, “Our delegation regrets we cannot accept these Agreed Conclusions. Two or three paragraphs are not acceptable. We showed flexibility. We request others be flexible as well”.
Another small middle-eastern nation voiced its concern with the process and complained that elements of which it was concerned were not included into the document. Further, the lone delegate noted, “I am one person and other countries have many delegates. I need more than 2 minutes to review the document.”
At this point, the bureau and other delegates surrounded the delegate who announced he could not accept the Agreed Conclusion. First, two or three approached him, and then several more joined the circle. Before too long, over 30 delegates encircled the small-framed man who dared to reject the “package deal”. It was a sight to see. As the group was embroiled in a private discussion occurring on the floor, pressure built as one by one, delegates stood to announce they were flexible and even though they did not get everything they wanted in the Agreed Conclusions, they were willing to accept it. Nations urged the dissenter to find a way to agree.
The entire block of African nations (53 in total) were willing to stay into the night to find resolution. India was, too. Most of the other nations, including the U.S., EU, Canada were not so generous. They wanted to approve and move on.
Eventually, Mr. Margarian found the resolution…everyone agreed and the balcony broke into cheers; and some tears. The lone delegate who had taken on the entire body of CSW nations stood and calmly spoke in broken English, “Our concern was not taken up…now it has. We agree.”
The final Agreed Conclusion is truly not perfect. After all, it comes from a process that is flawed with too much influence from those that want to see the patriarchal family destroyed. However, without our small nation friends standing firm, we would never have been successful.
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